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Artists Helmut Newton
Helmut Newton Photo

Helmut Newton

American Photographer

Movement: Fashion Photography

Born: October 31, 1920 - Berlin, Germany

Died: January 23, 2004 - Los Angeles, United States

Helmut Newton Timeline

Quotes

"The desire to discover, the desire to move, to capture the flavour, three concepts that describe the art of photography."
Helmut Newton
"To have taboos, then to get around them that is interesting."
Helmut Newton
"The term 'political correctness' has always appalled me, reminding me of Orwell's 'Thought Police' and fascist regimes."
Helmut Newton
"Some people`s photography is an art. Mine is not. If they happen to be exhibited in a gallery or a museum, that`s fine. But that`s not why I do them. I`m a gun for hire."
Helmut Newton
"If a photographer says he is not a voyeur, he is an idiot."
Helmut Newton
"He used his fashion photographer's eye to make the erotic almost surrealistic which didn't always mix well with the demeanour of the typical Playmate."
Hugh Heffner from Playboy: Helmut Newton (2005)

"I hate good taste. It's the worst thing that can happen to a creative person."

Helmut Newton Signature

Synopsis

Dubbed the King of Kink, Helmut Newton, one of the great photographers of the twentieth century, radicalized fashion photography by redefining the way women were portrayed in advertising for haute couture. Newton paved the way for fashion photography to become more provocative, and more daring. Incorporating complex themes of sexuality and desire into his work, he showed that fashion photography did not have to be banal and safe, but had the scope to explore the human condition in all its depth.

Key Ideas

Newton took fashion photography out of the studio and into the vitality of the street, bringing to his work the immediacy and dynamism of the paparazzi. "A woman does not live in front of a white paper" he said, in reference to the studio, "she lives on the street, in a motor car, in a hotel room." By bringing a journalistic element into his photography, he infused his photographs with human interest.
Newton expressed through photography the idea that women's sexuality could give them power. The women he portrays are independent, and in command. He encourages the viewer to question the sexual objectification of women by forcing them to confront their own voyeuristic gaze.
Newton borrowed from cinema, erotica, journalism, and art, giving no credence to the distinction between high and low brow art forms, a theme shared by many modern artists. What makes Newton's contribution unique is bringing these influences to fashion advertising.
Newton's admiration for the cinema, particularly Film Noir, is evident in his preference for black and white film, seductive women, and mysterious narrative elements. He utilises elaborate sets, highly posed scenes, and of course, glamorous attire, but at the heart of the photographs, these are always in service of conveying human emotion.

Biography

Helmut Newton Photo

Childhood

Helmut Newton was born Helmut Neust├Ądter in Berlin on October 31, 1920 to Max Neust├Ądter, a wealthy button manufacturer, and mother Klara (nee Marquis). Klara was a widow with a son, Hans, when she married Max, a soldier from Silesia who took over the running of the button factory left behind by her late husband.

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Helmut Newton Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Helmut Newton
Interactive chart with Helmut Newton's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Yva
BrassaiBrassai
Dr. Erich Salomon

Personal Contacts

Francine Crescent
Hugh Heffner
Anna Wintour

Movements

SurrealismSurrealism
Film Noir

Influences on Artist
Helmut Newton
Helmut Newton
Years Worked: 1946 - 2004
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Mark Arbeit
Just Loomis
George Holz
David Bailey
Terrance Donovan

Personal Contacts

Yves Saint Laurent
Karl Lagerfeld
David LynchDavid Lynch

Movements

20th Century Fashion Photography

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Content compiled and written by Zaid S Sethi

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Zaid S Sethi
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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